Christie bashing: Sport for pundits, but not reporters

Christie bashing: Sport for pundits, but not reporters

Mika Brzezinski is incredulous — very incredulous. She made that clear to the audience of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” by suggesting over and over the other morning that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is a liar.

She didn’t actually use the phrase “he’s a liar.” Such a straightforward accusation is unsubstantiated by the facts known at this time. She just dismissed Christie’s claim he hadn’t known of his aide’s culpability in Fort Lee’s four days of apocalyptic traffic by repeatedly insisting that no one could possibly believe such a preposterous claim of innocence. In other words, we all know he’s lying.

Cable television isn’t a courtroom, and standards of evidence in cable punditry are rarely more restrictive than “whatever your gut tells you.” So, there was nothing terribly surprising about Ms. Brzezinski making an unsubstantiated accusation. It’s cable, morning cable at that, and, well, it’s not really meant to be taken seriously.

Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough (unlike his co-host, he says he’s giving Christie the benefit of the doubt) aren’t journalists. And they don’t, as the saying goes, really play them on TV. As for the actual journalists who regularly appear on ”Morning Joe,” they seem to enjoy it as a place where they can sometimes say what they really think without going to the bother of finding out facts and reporting evidence to support their hunches.

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